Paecilomycone Inhibits Quorum Sensing in Gram-Negative Bacteria

Wouter A G Beenker, Jelmer Hoeksma, Marie Bannier-Hélaouët, Hans Clevers, Jeroen den Hertog

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes major health care concerns due to its virulence and high intrinsic resistance to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, new treatments are greatly needed. An interesting approach is to target quorum sensing (QS). QS regulates the production of a wide variety of virulence factors and biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa. This study describes the identification of paecilomycone as an inhibitor of QS in both Chromobacterium violaceum and P. aeruginosa. Paecilomycone strongly inhibited the production of virulence factors in P. aeruginosa, including various phenazines, and biofilm formation. In search of the working mechanism, we found that paecilomycone inhibited the production of 4-hydroxy-2-heptylquinoline (HHQ) and 3,4-dihydroxy-2-heptylquinoline (PQS), but not 2'-aminoacetophenone (2-AA). Therefore, we suggest that paecilomycone affects parts of QS in P. aeruginosa by targeting the PqsBC complex and alternative targets or alters processes that influence the enzymatic activity of the PqsBC complex. The toxicity of paecilomycone toward eukaryotic cells and organisms was low, making it an interesting lead for further clinical research. IMPORTANCE Antibiotics are becoming less effective against bacterial infections due to the evolution of resistance among bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative pathogen that causes major health care concerns and is difficult to treat due to its high intrinsic resistance to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, new targets are needed, and an interesting approach is to target quorum sensing (QS). QS is the communication system in bacteria that regulates multiple pathways, including the production of virulence factors and biofilm formation, which leads to high toxicity in the host and low sensitivity to antibiotics, respectively. We found a compound, named paecilomycone, that inhibited biofilm formation and the production of various virulence factors in P. aeruginosa. The toxicity of paecilomycone toward eukaryotic cells and organisms was low, making it an interesting lead for further clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0509722
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2023

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